Thursday, July 20, 2006

Metallic Falcons / Desert Doughnuts / Rating: 7.4

“A luminous construction of blurred Medieval whispers, narcotic guitar figures, and thunderous percussion that reverberates like hoofbeats across the mesa, Desert Doughnuts appears above the dashboard like a mirage, the music's vaporous structure ready at any moment to dissolve into the twilight.”

I guess it should be expected that 4 out of 5 reviews for this band will try to match or surpass the great American desert experience as told by the band (and maybe one too many bong hits) on their MySpace page. It is all a matter of taste but I don’t like a review that attempts to one up the complexity of the music they are trying to describe. And just because a band doesn’t sound like Bloc Party doesn’t make a band instantly magically terrific. These days it appears the main thing not sounding like Talking Heads does is it makes a band more marketable to the elite. Throw on some crazy urban ghost of a Native American costume on top of some Nico / Bjork sounding spawn, dub it something catchy like “soft metal” and taaadaaa, you have insta-buzz. Add a side project angle from a band people sort of like and a few guest appearances by some top names in the gender bending freak-folk community and you have a record that is very tempting to buy. I mean if you are into that sort of thing.

Personally speaking I am seriously sick to death of the freak-folk thing and their ever growing circle of friends. What records aren’t Devendra and Antony guest appearing on or producing these days? Give it a rest already and let the public miss you for a few months.


I purchased this Metallic Falcons record about a month back and after some 30 plus days I still don’t feel like I have something deeply illuminating to say about the music. I tried, I really tried, but you can’t force love. I like the band (love their name) but the record on the whole sounds more like a blue print to greatness. The icey (ironic since deserts do not lend itself towards anything frozen)) Zelda game music gone rock meets grieving goth choir of boys and girls directs the music towards something potentially perfect but then it kaleidoscopes out in too many clumsy art school girl having a bad trip directions. This lack of focus muddles the theme into a meandering garish production that sags around the middle. Metallic Falcons try too hard to smudge quality songwriting into a feathered other worldliness and this is exactly where my attention span for the music dies.

Only about 1/3 of Desert Doughnuts is devastatingly captivating and marvelously creepy (especially “Journey”, “Airsips”, and “Disparu”) but I can’t imagine that kind of ratio earning anything higher than 6.1 rating.